Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Tinfoil Tulip

There's a popular restaurant here in Portland. It's called Montage, located under one of the bridges over the Willamette River, and open til 4 a.m. Very popular with the late nite crowd, and great most anytime simply because of some of the unique aspects of the place. Their specialty is Cajun fare, and it's very good, and it's just a fun place to go -- has a seating concept that's rather unique. There are long sets of tables, covered in white linen table cloths, nice little glass held candles providing a charming lighting decor. When you are seated,,,,say there are just two of you,,,,you may indeed find yourself cozied up next to the couple to your left or right and before you know it, you may find yourself chatting away with your new acquaintances. And while you might be chatting away, the kitchen, which is in plain view, may be flaming away some new fiery dish, and the chefs can be heard to yell at the top of their lungs,,,whatever it is they might be yelling about at the time. The whole event is an experience you are not likely to forget, and probably one you will find yourself not only telling your friends about, but encouraging them to join you after a late movie, a night out....or....just for lunch or dinner. Doesn't matter. The fun goes from opening til close, and the food is always good. Oh, and for the price, definitely one of Portland's "cheap eats."

One more thing the Montage does that is especially fun in its own way is ... after you finish your meal, if you have leftovers, and -- well, let's say you SHOULD strive to have some leftovers -- you would like to take them home, just tell your waiter so, and he will take them to some magical place where he creates a tinfoil sculpture with your leftovers, the likes of which you have never seen. Ok. Maybe not never.

The other evening my daughter went to the Montage with some friends for a bite of dinner, and sure enough, she came home with her own, very own tinfoil sculpture, the likes of which you've never seen. This one was a good three and a half feet high, a long, tall stem with a giant tulip fashioned at the top. The whole affair was quite lavish and fun. Now I was hanging out in the family room when my daughter came home with this flamboyant thing,,,and she had a dilemma. She wanted my grandaughter to see the tinfoil extravaganza in the morning when she awoke for school, but at the same time she wanted to have the leftovers for her lunch. Well, she couldn't very well just leave the sculpture out all night for my grandaughter to see it without risking the little -- very little, mind you -- ball of leftovers at the bottom of the giant tulip -- which little ball of leftovers created a rather stabilizing base for the otherwise would-be very floppy tulip thing. My daughter mulled over the dilemma in the kitchen, and expressed her puzzlement out loud, "What should I do?" I thought for a moment and said, "Well, we could get a pan of ice, put the tinfoil tulip in a strainer on top of the ice,,,that would let the cold come up and keep your leftovers chilled,,,and that should work!" Hmmmmmm, we both thought. Worth a try. So we did just that. And there the tinfoil tulip resided throughout the rest of the night.

Now comes the morning. I heard about this later, by the way. But it was just as funny in retrospect as it must have been at the time. Apparently my grandaughter saw the creation before my daughter had a chance to "show and tell." So my 8 yo grandaughter came to the bottom of the stairs and called up to her mom.



My daughter came to the top of the stairs, and answered her, "What?"

My 8 yo grandaughter says to her mother, "Mom, what's up with the foil flower!?"